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Old 03-21-2012, 07:04 PM
69 posts, read 87,857 times
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Hi- I bought a townhouse in the McNair farms in Herndon last year. The house was built in the year 1999 and is in good condition. Is it necessary to have termite insurance for the house? I heard it depends on the area and the age of the house. I am not sure if I should go for it. Please advise.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:53 PM
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Subterranean termites (the kind that eat your house) live in all States except Alaska. NOVA is prime termite habitat.

The age of the house shouldn't matter....termites eat wood and I don't think they care how old the wood is.

An older house may even be safer against termites because most builders used chlordane to treat the soil against termites. Chlordane (which was effective for 30+ years) was banned in 1988. Chlordane's environmentally friendlier replacement (Termidor, etc) lasts 10 years or less....so a '99 house may be unprotected now.

I don't know about "termite insurance"....but I would have the place treated. If you ever see "mud tunnels" on an outside wall....call the exterminator now, you have termites!
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:25 AM
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Termite PROTECTION is almost always required by your mortgage company (since they want to keep THEIR house in tip-top shape should they have to take it over).

Termite "insurance" supplied by a pest control company is essentially useless since it almost always says something like "We'll retreat 'free of charge' any area that gets infested with termites that we have treated" rather than "We'll pay for repairs of any area that gets infested by termites that we have treated".

I have zero clue about actual insurance supplied by an insurance company; I would suspect it is sufficiently qualified that it, too, is useless.


Did you know that, if your house insurance says something like "Must have special window locks" to aid in the prevention of burglaries that the insurance company can refuse to pay for damages caused by, say, fire if you don't have those special anti-burglary locks on all your windows?
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:42 AM
1,256 posts, read 3,514,338 times
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Originally Posted by car54 View Post
If you ever see "mud tunnels" on an outside wall....call the exterminator now, you have termites!
I had mud tunnels - that's how I found out about a termite hit. The termites had gotten under a concrete front porch via some unknown route (1/32" crack is enough even though the porch/stoop is more than a foot above ground level and concrete)), eaten any scrap wood under there (apparently a fave place for home builders to chuck scraps), then gotten into the basement, where I saw the tunnels along a joist (fortunately NOT yet eaten).

I also was repainting the garage door one day and noticed the door frame was "crinkly" near ground level - yup, termites actively eating - hit the frame with the handle of the brush and it went right into it; played with the hole and saw white termites doing their thang. Got rid of the termites chemically and contracted with a repair firm to replace the frame with theoretically-inedible fake wood. When they tore out the framing boards around the door entrance, it was obvious that the termites had tunneled behind the wood all the way to the garage "attic", actually eating the tunnels through the underlayment (Uh...tivec or something? Like foamcore aluminum-covered thin boarding); there was no further damage to the garage other than the framing boards, however.

Not fun being surprised like that.

I keep the entire house surround chemically treated now even though it has something like 2 feet or more concrete foundation above ground level (EXCEPT for the garage - the 'weakest" spot for the house).

BTW, I originally contracted with a pest company to use those in-ground "bait traps" to attract and kill termites before they reached the house - what a CROCK.

The traps work by attracting termites with plain old wood. If termites are found by the pest control company when they come out to check the traps, they gently replace the wood with the termite-killing material, the termites eat it and carry it back to their nest, and the whole nest dies.

That's the theory.

Actually what happened, however, is the pest control company came out so seldom (contractual visits) that the termites would eat the wood bait, leave, the inspector would come and see the eaten bait but no termites, replace the bait, and tell me there weren't any termites in the trap because they had already departed so placing the poison would do no good at that time!

I didn't renew that contract.
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